Safer food, better business

Regulations introduced in 2006 say that you must be able to show what you do as a food business to make food that is safe to eat. This information must be written down. Safer Food, Better Business (SFBB) is an innovative and practical approach to food safety management developed by the Food Standards Agency. It has been developed to help small businesses put in place food safety management procedures and comply with food hygiene regulations. It is not applicable to all types of businesses, for example butchers, where a full Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is required.

If you are a small scale caterer such as a bed and breakfast (B&B) with three rooms or less, or you are a registered food business for baking cakes or low risk foods at home, the SFBB may not be appropriate due to its complexity. Further information for small caterers can be found below.

Safer Food, Better Business pack

Washing-handsThe Safer Food, Better Business pack highlights things that are important in order to sell food safely and provides advice on what to do if things go wrong. The pack includes safe method sheets and a diary.

There are a number of Safer Food, Better Business packs available that are designed to meet the specific needs of different food businesses. There are packs for small catering businesses, small retail businesses, and restaurants and takeaways that serve different cuisines, such as Chinese or Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan cuisines. There is also a pack for childminders and a supplement for care homes that is designed to be used with the pack for caterers.

All the packs, apart from the childminders, include an introduction to food hygiene 'Working with food? What you need to know before you start' and a DVD guide, available in 16 different languages, which have been produced to help food businesses implement Safer Food, Better Business  and train staff on Safer Food, Better Business. The guide can be viewed online or you can download a copy using the link below.

Order a pack guide

If you would like to order a Safer Food, Better Business pack guide, call Food Standards Agency Publications on 0845 606 0667 or email

Small businesses (e.g. B&B) or home caterers

If you operate as a home caterer preparing low risk food or you run a small bed and breakfast, you will still need to document some basic pre-requisites. However, the food safety management system required can be less complex than the SFBB pack. The Officer who carries out the food hygiene inspection at your premises will be able to give you specific advice. A simplified food safety management document [Word 227 KB] is available for you to use, but it should be amended as required to suit your business and what you are doing. This includes a diary of any actions taken. You may also find it helpful to use a daily check sheet [Word 42 KB], if this is appropriate.

Pre-requisites are basic controls that must be in place prior to and whilst producing food and/or storing it in your domestic premises,

The areas you should focus on include:

  • Food hygiene training / knowledge
  • Personal hygiene
  • Infection control
  • Pest control
  • Cleaning and sanitising
    (what types of chemicals cleaning cloths are used. How they are cleaned / sanitised)
  • Suppliers
  • Stock rotation
  • Temperature control
  • Traceability (using batch codes and keeping records)
  • Tamper evident seals and packaging
  • Equipment (suitability, condition checks, cleaning, storage)
  • General control of chemical, physical and microbiological hazards at all stages of processing.

You should also include information on transport and distribution if appropriate.